From Lucia Pizzo Flaherty
I find myself calling on God for specific, immediate things these days: for patience and wisdom in caring for Joan, that Joan won’t catch whatever head cold or stomach bug that I have, that Joan would fall asleep for her nap, that Joan would stay asleep for an extra hour at night.
Today’s readings begin and end with calling on God:
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me (Psalm 120:1)
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)
When I think of the phrase “will be saved,” my mind quickly jumps to the idea of salvation, of that intangible sense of God saving me, saving all of us, from sin. But what about God saving us in ordinary, everyday ways? What about the small (and larger) distresses of life? It seems like God is interested in saving us in these ways too. I find great comfort in how this is detailed in Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a new mom, but I can certainly relate to not slumbering or sleeping. I can feel the way that God might lean down over us as we sleep, watching to make sure our noses aren’t shoved down into the mattress, listening to the reassuring sound of our breathing, gently repositioning our arms if they get caught in the crib rails. At the same time, I don’t have the same power or stamina as God—eventually I do fall asleep. I won’t always be able to watch over Joan’s coming and going. I can’t keep her from all harm. But God can.
Calling God means expecting an answer, means trusting that He is good, that He is enough. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.
I am a knitter, scone-maker, Grant Administrator, poet, Jamaica Plain resident, mother and wife, although I most often feel like I am an on-call rocking chair.